By Rich Winter
Every time I think about the Houston Texans a big red light goes off in my head that screams, 2-14, 2-14.
It's interesting that many had forecast the Texans to be a super bowl contender last season and after winning two straight games, the wheels on the bus failed to go round and round as Houston flat out sucked from just about every imaginable angle.
As most people get ready to do the Fantasy Football Draft thang, I can't help but wonder if Arian Foster returns to fantasy elite or if he's done or if last year he just got caught up in the myriad of problems that was the Houston Texans?
Those are some hefty questions, but if you play your cards right, you could find yourself with a steal.
Foster was bad last season, but I'm guessing playing RB in the NFL with a "lumbar spine issue" isn't one of the easiest things to do.
In fact, if you look back over the past several seasons, hasn't the # on Foster been, 'runs a little gingerly as if he's protecting that back?'
I'm wondering if ten months away from football, proper rest, and a commitment back to football might just have Foster ready to rumble with the big boys again.
Here is the scouting report on Foster -
Coach Bill O'Brien said Arian Foster will fill the roles served by Kevin Faulk and Danny Woodhead in his old Patriots offenses.
The Patriots always utilized a passing back. Faulk averaged 33.1 receptions per year and when O'Brien was the wide receivers coach in 2008, he set a career-high with 58. Woodhead averaged 30.6 receptions during his three years in New England. The difference here is that those guys weren't feature backs as well. O'Brien sounds prepared to ride Foster hard as both a runner and a passing back, already saying backup Andre Brown is an early-down player only. Foster is a threat for 330 total touches, with at least 60 of them coming through the air. Jun 4 - 8:03 AM
Hmmmm, sounds to me like the new coach knows exactly what he's working with.
So, it seems like Foster has been in the league for a decade or better but in reality, he's just entering his 6th season.
2013 - 542 yards, 1 td, receiving 22 catches, 189 yards and 1 td - 731 total yards and 2 td's...
2012 - 1424 yards, 15 td's, 40 catches 217 yards and 2 td's - 1641 total yards and 17 td's
2011 - 1224 yards, 10 td's, 53 catches, 617 yards and 2 td's - 1841 total yards and 12 td's
2010 - 1616 yards, 16 td's, 66 catches, 604 yards and 2 td's - 2220 total yards and 18 td's
Taking away a miserable 2013 and Forster has been a beast that is a touchdown machine.
So, you start looking at what the experts are saying about Foster and the Texans and you gotta wonder if they are right to be cautious or if have just forgotten, when healthy, just what a fantasy beast we're all dealing with here.
CBS - Jeremy Eisenberg - 10th
CBS - Dave Richard - 6th
Yahoo - 8th
ESPN - 12th
Fox - 7th
Rich Winter - 5th
Was watching I think Colin Cowherd the other day predict an over/under on the Texans. The general thought was the Texans were going to be in that 8-9 win area. That is significantly different than the bad taste they left in your mouth a season ago at 2-14.
If the Culture of this Texans team has been thoroughly turned around, then you have to remember they have a dominant defense.
Good defense, so-so QB, I'm thinking if Foster is healthy, you have yourself a stud Fantasy back in the equation.
With that volatility in ranking, No. 5 - No. 12 make sure you monitor Foster's health during the preseason. Foster's not a big preseason guy anyway, so I don't expect the Texans to show much anyway. From a Fantasy perspective, guys in your league are going to see him ranked down there at 10th and 12th and pass on a guy that has been fantasy elite in every year he's been in the league, except 2013.
If you have an early RB pick and you can somehow get Foster as your No. 2, hold on for dear life, because you have the makings of a pretty elite fantasy squad.
I think the extra rest that Foster had all of last season and a finally healthy bad back is going to have Foster ascending those charts as he returns to Fantasy Elite.
Follow me @panicgalore and you can see more of my work at www.panicbutton.sportsblog.com